Make of this what you will:

Closer Francisco Cordero has long professed his desire to remain with the Reds beyond this season. And though it’s not in writing yet, Cordero is pleased to know the feeling is mutual.

“They’re talking to my agent, and maybe something will get done,” Cordero said on Monday. “The Reds told me they wanted me to come back. I said I wanted to come back.”

Cordero, 36, is in the final guaranteed year of his four-year, $46 million contract, which pays him $12 million this season. There is a $12 million club option for 2012 with a $1 million buyout that the Reds must decide upon by the time the World Series ends next month.

Honestly, I like Cordero more than most. He’s a standup guy, and he’s a more reliable reliever than most. Unfortunately, he is paid like he is one of the top two closers in the game, and he isn’t even close.

So…I wouldn’t mind if the Reds re-signed Cordero — at 1/4 of his current price. (Yeah, that ain’t happenin’, I know.) If nothing else, having Cordero around would prevent Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty from doing something stupid like making Aroldis Chapman the closer.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 32 Comments

  1. If nothing else, having Cordero around would prevent Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty from doing something stupid like making Aroldis Chapman the closer.

    This is worth quite a bit of Bob Castellini’s money to me.

  2. Agree with Chad:

    1. Cordero has had a good year, actually a solid four years, with the Reds.

    2. Overpaying for a closer, especially for a team with a medium-size payroll, is an old-school mistake. The Reds agreeing to too many years for too much money seems to be likely.

    3. It’s important that Chapman be made a starter.

    Why didn’t the Reds try other pitchers in the closer role over the last month?

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      Agree with Chad:1. Cordero has had a good year, actually a solid four years, with the Reds. 2. Overpaying for a closer, especially for a team with a medium-size payroll, is an old-school mistake. The Reds agreeing to too many years for too much money seems to be likely. 3. It’s important that Chapman be made a starter. Why didn’t the Reds try other pitchers in the closer role over the last month?

      Didn’t want to hurt CoCo’s feelings. Remember, Dusty is a player’s manager and is all about giving players their chances to improve stats and make money.

  3. I can’t remember the last time Cordero struck out a batter. Smoke and mirrors, with last night being a perfect example.
    Boxberger might be ready as soon as Memorial Day next season. Surely we’d have a hot pitcher who could do the job until then. Surely we could find a setup guy w/ good strikeout rates we could trade for. It’s a complete lack of imagination by management that allows them to entertain the notion of bringing this guy back.

  4. I see the Reds and Co-Co agreeing on a 3 year deal for about 30-36 million over those three years.

    • @brm7675:

      I see the Reds and Co-Co agreeing on a 3 year deal for about 30-36 million over those three years.

      And you would all be insane if that happened. 10-12 million a year for a 36 year old reliever?

      • royhobbs

        This is MLB were insane stupid contracts happen all the time with all teams.

  5. There are a ton of FAs this year who are closers now or have experience closing games. It’s a buyer’s market, so if the Reds shell out anything more than a two year and 12 million deal, I’ll be disappointed. While Boxberger is intriguing, I’d rather go with someone with some MLB experience before we hand the job over to Boxberger. Let’s see how the kid does in middle relief first.

  6. @David: The real question is why they didn’t give Boxberger a month of innings in middle relief this September, to try to figure this out. The Braves did exactly this with Boxberger’s closest comparable, Kimbrel, last September.

  7. @royhobbs: I don’t think he was supporting it. Just predicting it. I see more like 2 years, 20M. Which IS insane. But this team is insane.

    • @Dave Lowenthal:

      @royhobbs: I don’t think he was supporting it. Just predicting it. I see more like 2 years, 20M. Which IS insane. But this team is insane.

      I don’t see that happening either. Maybe 2 years, 16 million. It’s a problem that they don’t have a dominant reliever that they can trust to pitch an inning with the lead, causing them to have to do this. Not that Cordero is dominant either.

  8. Which would you rather see the Reds do:

    Option 1: Overpay Co-Co with a 2-3 year deal and them begin having Chapman work in a SP role

    or

    Option 2: Have the Reds buyout Co-Co and put Chapman in the role of closer for the 2012 season.

  9. @brm7675: The real problem is that they will overpay to keep CoCo AND keep Chapman in the bullpen as the set-up guy.

  10. @royhobbs: I would like to see 2 years at $16M, but I’m afraid that’s unrealistic, Cordero won’t take that big a pay cut.
    Maybe 2 years at $18 M ? If he demands more, let him walk.

    That’s overpaying, but I’m afraid of this bullpen in 2012 without Cordero. Chapman will be starting, and everyone else s_cks. For most of this season I was in favor of just letting CoCo go, but at this point I’m concerned about the lack of depth in the bullpen.

  11. @brm7675: Between those 2 options, I would go with option 1, but keeping it to a 2 year deal with CoCo. He has actually mentioned 2 years as something he’d be happy with, but he no doubt has a lot of money in mind.

  12. Well if you’re a small market team with dumb-butt management that makes these kind of decisions… you should not expect any World Series appearances.

  13. @brm7675: Which would you rather do: (1) stick a fork in your left eye, or (2) stick a fork in your right eye?

    Seriously, you’ve given two really bad options. The Reds should be smart enough to choose neither of them. I am not willing to take (1), because while they get Chapman starting, they hamstring the budget too much, and don’t get the needed extra starting pitching because of it.

  14. Coco has had 36 saves which ties him for 7th in the National League. Not that bad for a team that didn’t win all that many games. Everybody ahead of him had more save opportunities. The leader is Kimbrel with 46 saves and Kimbrel had 7 blown saves. Coco had 6 blown saves. I think that CoCo has done his job while he’s been here. It hasn’t always been pretty but you have to admit he has been pretty effective in doing what he was supposed to do – Protect wins. It doesn’t matter if it was with “smoke and mirrors”. He did the job. Can he keep it up? How long can he keep it up? What should he be paid? Good questions. If someone thinks there is a person who can do it better in 2012, I’d like to hear the name and the price. If it really is a buyers market I’m sure all the parties know that. What that means in real terms (who specifically, numbers, years, etc.) I don’t really know. I can not think of anyone on the Reds 40 man that I would want to entrust with the closers role in 2012. I think Boxberger is an intriguing possibility but not for the beginning of 2012. I would like to extend CoCo for 2012. I think 2012 and one extra year is acceptable. Longer than that is asking for trouble. If it was me I would leave the decision up to CoCo. Saying we are willing to go one extra year at a price that is tempting to CoCo but not seriously overpaying. Otherwise we will extend you and take our chances in 2013. CoCo too would have to be taking his chances in 2013 or have the comfort of being compensated for 2013 locked up. I think that is a OK deal for both. Both the Reds and Coco could wish for better deals. But they both would be taking risks or paying too high.

  15. @RedBlooded: There are so many things wrong with your dissertation there, beginning with not understanding that 46/53 is better than 36/42, but anyways, Kimbrel makes about zero dollars anyways.

    It does matter if he does it with smoke and mirrors.

    • @RedBlooded: There are so many things wrong with your dissertation there, beginning with not understanding that 46/53 is better than 36/42, but anyways, Kimbrel makes about zero dollars anyways.It does matter if he does it with smoke and mirrors.

      Outs are outs..this idea that out via X is better then out via Y is just almost laughable. The objective of the pitcher is to get outs, it doesn’t matter how he does it.

    • @Dave Lowenthal
      : There are so many things wrong with your dissertation there, beginning with not understanding that 46/53 is better than 36/42, but anyways, Kimbrel makes about zero dollars anyways.It does matter if he does it with smoke and mirrors.

      46/53 is only better because it means his team were in more positions to win over the entire season. As for the pitcher, I am not sure how it is better.

  16. @brm7675: Yes, let’s once again harken back to the days when people didn’t understand that it’s better to strike someone out than to let him make contact.

  17. @brm7675: I don’t mean to be rude, but I think you need to look up the definition of a percentage.

  18. @Dave Lowenthal:

    don’t get me wrong I would prefer a strikeout but when all is said and done all that matters is the out. This year Co-Co has been pretty decent at getting the outs.

  19. @Dave Lowenthal: I agree with everything you have said. Cordero is a train wreck waiting to happen.

    The Reds just flat out are not a smart baseball team. You shouldn’t pay a closer big money with their resources, especially if that closer projects to be medicore (at best over the next few years). They are one of the worst teams in MLB as far as understanding that players decline as they age.

    I would not bring Cordero back at all. He is a good guy and he has pitched well here (although not up to that contract).

  20. @brm7675: In a vacuum yes, an out is an out. However, a pitcher’s tendency at producing certain types of outs (Ks/GBs/FBs) is a good indicator of just how effective he is. Nothing good can possibly happen for the batter if he doesn’t make contact and strikes out. A ground ball produces a higher probability of an out. So, ideally, you want a pitcher that has a high strike out rate, followed by a high GB%. Pretty easy stuff.

    • @brm7675: In a vacuum yes, an out is an out. However, a pitcher’s tendency at producing certain types of outs (Ks/GBs/FBs) is a good indicator of just how effective he is. Nothing good can possibly happen for the batter if he doesn’t make contact and strikes out. A ground ball produces a higher probability of an out. So, ideally, you want a pitcher that has a high strike out rate, followed by a high GB%. Pretty easy stuff.

      But there are times where you would prefer a hit out over a strike out. If over an entire season the pitcher is able to get the outs then I don’t care how they do it.

  21. @brm7675: What? When pitching, why would the Reds ever prefer the other team to get a hit rather than record an out? That just doesn’t make sense. If you are saying that a pitcher would rather pitch to contact to hopefully enduce a double play ball over a strike out, you’re just wrong there too. If contact is made, bad things can happen. If no contact is made, nothing bad can happen.

    • @brm7675: What? When pitching, why would the Reds ever prefer the other team to get a hit rather than record an out? That just doesn’t make sense. If you are saying that a pitcher would rather pitch to contact to hopefully enduce a double play ball over a strike out, you’re just wrong there too. If contact is made, bad things can happen. If no contact is made, nothing bad can happen.

      Lets say you are facing the Cards, there is 1 out runner on first and the Cards No. 2 hitter is at the plate with ole Albert on deck. You are up by 1, so you would rather strike out their No. 2 hitter and allow Albert to hit or take your chance with a ground ball double play? I will take my chances with the ground ball double play, I want to avoid Albert coming to the plate at any cost.

    • @Dave: What? When pitching, why would the Reds ever prefer the other team to get a hit rather than record an out? That just doesn’t make sense. If you are saying that a pitcher would rather pitch to contact to hopefully enduce a double play ball over a strike out, you’re just wrong there too. If contact is made, bad things can happen. If no contact is made, nothing bad can happen.

      Well actually that idea that nothing bad can happen on a Strike out isn’t also 100% true. What happens on a 3rd strike past ball, then you have the batter on the move. Again, an out is an out.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2011 Reds, 2012 Reds

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